Though there hasn't been the luxury of time to truly process it all, It has been an outstandingly fantastic couple of months around these parts.
I present to you, Exhibit A:
(*And yes, all my "exhibits" are less-than-stellar phone camera photos. It is what it is, y'all.)
The Captain and I enjoyed a much-needed evening out listening to some insanely talented (albeit sweaty) Englishmen. I could ramble on for hours about our love for good music, but suffice it all to say that this was a solidly impressive three or so hours and truly the best concert we've ever heard.
THAT was enough to make a girl's whole September, I tell you.
Moving on to Exhibit B:
Our beautiful little Sweet Love had a birthday, y'all. And it was the sweetest, most love-filled birthday of all. We had an antique/French-shabby-chic/nest and egg dealio with some ruffles and roses and a house full of people who love our very special littlest daughter. She very slowly and daintily enjoyed that smash cake until nearly half of it was gone. At one point the sweet child's eyes glazed over as she has literally never consumed that amount of sugar in one setting before. We had to take the cake away before she made herself sick on it. Or contracted diabetes.
Birthdays are so a big deal for my girls. It's been so fun to watch Sassafras grow to love planning events with me over the years. I truly don't know what I'd have done without her this year when it came to planning Sweet Love's shindig. Sweet moments in parenting, y'all.
One of the fun little details God has given us in this life is that Sweet Love and I share a birthday. Mamas don't care much about birthdays when they have kiddos to lavish love upon, but there were some amazingly special treats that made my piece of our special day even sweeter.
And last but most assuredly not least, Exhibit D:
The mamas who came, they were so encouraged. So blessed. So broken. Such a sweet and mending mess. They were weary of the reality of adoption and foster care with little to sometimes no real understanding from the world around us, the world that just doesn't always get this calling placed upon our lives.
We are a crazy tribe, when you think about it.
The three keynote speakers shared about God's faithfulness in their own adoption or foster care journeys, and they spoke such wisdom that we were all on the edge of our seats silently begging for them to say more things, to speak more wisdom into our lives. The nine breakout presenters shared about everything from nurturing attachment to nurturing your marriage in a Christ-honoring way, with even some ethnic haircare tips for mamas like me who need some help. The participants in our panel of moms responded candidly about real life situations and questions that come up for adoptive and fostering families. And the worship team. Oh my, y'all. Accompanied by two other very gifted fostering and adoptive daddies in our church, the worship leaders (Gary and Stephanie Wright) were two of our closest friends who walked alongside The Captain and me during the pits of despair and the joyous mountaintops of Pearl's adoption process.
Every song was specifically chosen to encourage all the moms at the retreat in their various stages of adoption or foster care. One that was most special in our crowd was We Are Waiting, which is actually an original work written and composed by our friends Gary and Stephanie Wright. Find it in iTunes under The Station Praise Band. It would be the best .99 you've ever spent.
What meant so much to the Unfailing Love Retreat team was that we got to be a witness to God planting a vision in our hearts and then creatively assembling all the puzzle pieces. This weekend those pieces all connected perfectly as though by magnetism, and the fact that we got to see it...well, it still is too much for our hearts to hold in. God gave us a dream, and y'all, we got to see that dream become reality in only six months' time.
Actually, "Dreams Come True" could totally be the whole theme for these happenings and just all my life of late...and I'm just so grateful for it all.